News Briefs

May 17, 2018
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HARRY O’S EXPECTED TO CLOSE

According to Boston Restaurant Talk, it appears the longtime pizzeria and sub shop Harry O’s in the South End is closing down, as its building is slated for redevelopment.

A note sent by Patrick Maguire of Maguire Promotions & Hospitality Consulting, stated that Harry O’s on Washington Street will be closing sometime around the end of the month, with the word being that the space in which both the shop and the adjacent Morse Fish Company reside could be seeing some kinds of changes or updates.

On Boston’s Hidden Restaurants Facebook group page, a post that showed a sign within the store said Harry O’s has a closing date of May 27, but it has yet to be confirmed.

Go grab a last slice of pizza or the final ‘Hercules’ at 1405 Washington St. before the end of the month.

DPU REJECTS NATIONAL GRID CONTRACT

Boston Clean Energy Coalition and Clean Water Action announced last week that the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) denied National Grid’s request for approval of a contract relating to the financing of the Back Bay gas pipeline project.

The contract would have given the developer of One Dalton preferential treatment with respect to gas rates at the luxury condo minimums and hotel under development, and would have allowed the property owner to opt out of paying into the state’s energy efficiency programs.

The contract was actively opposed by Attorney General Maura Healey’s office in multiple DPU filings, as well as by all commenters at a December hearing on the matter and all of the over 200 individuals and organizations who signed written comments submitted in the proceeding.

While disallowing the contract does not stop the pipeline, leaders of the Boston Clean Energy Coalition welcomed the ruling as a matter of fairness.

“We are grateful that the attorney general’s office pursued this matter, and that the DPU came to a just conclusion,” said Ania Camargo of Mothers Out Front. “It is bad enough that we are expanding our carbon footprint by building a new pipeline to service luxury condos. To give a price break to wealthy customers at the expense of our statewide energy efficiency program would have added insult to injury.”

ESPLANADE ASSOCIATION 5K

Boston’s most popular running route will see even more foot-traffic than usual at the Esplanade 5k Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts on Sunday, May 20, at 9 a.m.

Hosted by the Esplanade Association, the 100-percent privately-funded friends group for the Charles River Esplanade, the 5k race (3.1 miles) will be open to runners of all ages and abilities. Rain or shine, it will start and end at Fiedler Field and loop along the Esplanade, allowing runners to enjoy both water and garden views set against the iconic backdrop of the Boston skyline.

Proceeds form the race will support the Esplanade Association’s work to revitalize and enhance the Esplanade, preserve its natural green space, and build community in the park. All participates will receive a t-shirt, a bib with timing chip and official race results, and be eligible to win prizes.

Tickets are $45 and $86 with Esplanade Association membership. Visit Esplanade5K.com for more information.

COMM AVE BRIDGE REPLACEMENT

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is hosting two public meetings for the Commonwealth Ave. Bridge replacement project.

The first will be on Monday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Morse School, Auditorium, 40 Granite Street, Cambridge, MA. The second will be on Wednesday, May 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Boston University College of General Studies, Jacob Sleeper Auditorium, room 109 at 871 Commonwealth Ave.

The same presentation will be given at both meetings. MassDOT and project team will describe the summer 2018 construction shutdown from July 26 through Aug. 11 in more detail.

SOUTH END PARKING SIGNS

A great mystery has unfolded on the sign posts of the South End, and residents want some answers.

The problem is that South End resident parking signs have recently been replaced by the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) with the typical, green, two-hour parking signs. The problem first crept up on Shawmut Avenue, where neighbors said they started getting ticketed for exceeding the two-hour limit during daytime hours. Previously, with resident parking, neighbors could park without fear of getting a ticket during the day.

The matter came up at Tuesday’s East Berkeley Neighborhood Association (EBNA), where neighbors shared that the problem seems to have spread to other areas of the South End as well.

One neighbor said the BTD told her the signs were replaced as they no longer were up to BTD regulations.

SORRY I ROBBED YOU, BUT CAN I HAVE MY PHONE BACK?

Boston Police reported to the East Berkeley Neighborhood Association (EBNA) that a robbery of a purse took place outside the CVS on Tremont Street May 6.

Apparently, a woman was coming out of the store when another woman grabbed her purse and ran. A bystander and the victim gave chase and the suspect dropped a knife and her phone as she took off.

The victim picked up the phone as evidence. However, a minute later, the robber returned and apologized for robbing the woman and asked if she could get her phone back. Police had been called and the suspect fled. Police got a description of the woman and arrested her shortly after.

UNTOLD STORIES OF THE PUBLIC GARDEN

Join the Friends of the Public Garden for FREE walking tours of Boston’s iconic Public Garden and learn about the history, sculpture, and horticulture of America’s first public botanical garden. Tours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 4 p.m. and Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. (weather permitting) beginning May 22 through mid-September.

Meet at the Make Way for Ducklings sculpture in the Garden.

For more information, visit friendsofthepublicgarden.org.

BOSTON PRIDE EVENTS

Boston Pride announced last week a new partnership with Big Night Entertainment Group. As part of this partnership, Big Night Entertainment will host the official Boston Pride Closing Party at their new nightclub, The Grant, on Sunday, June 10, at 9 p.m. after the block parties.

Big Night Entertainment has and will continue to host several Pride-related events, including several meet-ups, at various venues leading up to Pride Week.

During Pride Week, June 1, to June 10, Red Lantern in the Back Bay will offer the fifth annual Pride Week specials menus that will feature “The Red Door” as the specialty drink with a portion of the proceeds from each drink sold donated to Victory Programs. The Red Lantern will host an Out Professional Executive Networking (O.P.E.N.) event on Monday, June 4, with complimentary appetizers for Boston’s LGBTQ community and its allies.

Boston Pride Week 2018 will kick-off with the Pride flag raising on City Hall Plaza on Friday, June 1, and continue with events throughout the week, concluding with the annual Boston Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday, June 9, and Pride Block Parties on Sunday June 10, in the Back Bay and Jamaica Plain.

PRESERVATION MONTH EVENTS

Back Bay

  • The Commonwealth Avenue: Boston’s Grand Boulevard will begin at the George Washington Statue, Boston Public Garden on May 17 at 6p.m. Tickets are $15. Visit bostonbyfoot.org for more information.
  • The Back Bay Streetscape: A study in Symmetry, free tour will take place in the Back Bay Architectural Conservation District on May 22 from 5:30-7:30p.m. Email architecture@nabbonline.com for more information.

Fenway

  • The “Hello Muddy!” free tour will meet at REI, Landmark Center, 401Park Drive on May 19 from 11-12p.m. Visit emerald necklace.org for more info.
  • Historical Site Development of the Christian Science Plaza, free event will take place on May 29 at the Christian Science Church Publishing House, 210 Mass Ave at 4:30p.m.

South End

  • The Walking Tour of the South End Landmark District: New Construction within a Boston Landmark District, free tour will meet at Delux Cafe, 100 Chandler St., South on May 21 from 6-7:30p.m.
  • Boston’s South End (Postcard History Series) Book Talk, free event, will take place at the South End Historical Society, 532 Mass Ave., May 30, from 6-8p.m.

Bay Village

  • Historical Site Development of the Christian Science Plaza, free event will take place on May 29 at the Christian Science Church Publishing House, 210 Mass Ave at 4:30p.m.

SOUTH END DATES

  • Tropicaliente! 10th Annual Fundraiser for the Hurley K-8 School will take place on Friday, May 18, at 7 p.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Institute. All proceeds go to programming at the Hurley School in the South End.
  • USES Neighborhood Gala will take place May 17 at 6:30p.m. at the SoWa Power Station for a night of friendship, delicious food and dancing to help support their innovative work. Buy tickets in advance at uses.org/gala.
  • ART SE, the South end Party for Art, Music & Good Times will take place Tuesday, May 22 from 7 – 10p.m. at 460 Harrison Ave. Boston – SoWa. Tickets are $15 each. To purchase visit gatewaymainstreet.org.
  • Bikes not Fights – grab your bikes and helmets for a free Spring cleaning and tune-up on Saturday, May 19 from 1-3p.m. at the O’Day Playground & Park.
  • A fundraiser for Watson Park is being planned for a date to be announced this month. The money raised will be used to fund new plantings, maintenance and other costs. Water for the park is expected to be turned on any week now, with crews starting on the rebuilding of a water line that services the park. An overall vision plan is expected later this year.
  • Fete de la Musique will hit the parks and streets of the South End on June 23 this year, courtesy of the Community Music Center of Boston, Warren Avenue. This year, new parks like Watson Park, Ringgold Park and Union Park will be added to the locations for outdoor musical celebration. The event goes from 3-6 p.m.
  • The Trustees will have its annual plant and flower sale at the Berkeley Gardens on Tremont Street May 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • The Josiah Quincy School will host its 171st Anniversary fundraiser on Thursday, May 31, from 5-9 p.m. at Empire Garden Restaurant in Chinatown. It will be a night to celebrate the school with a traditional 10-course Chinese banquet, a lion dance performed by the students and live entertainment and auction.

BACK BAY HAPPENINGS

  • The Friends of the Public Garden are looking for champion volunteer weeders to help maintain the beautiful Boylston Street boarder and the Beacon Street border in the Public Garden. ‘You supply the enthusiasm, we supply the gloves, kneepads, and some brief instructions on weed identification!’ Volunteers meet up on alternative Thursdays, starting April 26, 5 – 7p.m.
  • Tour of Fenway Park will take place on June 2 at 10:30a.m. in front of Fenway Park on Jersey Street. Tickers are on sale for $23 at nabbonline.com.

FENWAY TIMES

  • Fenway Project – Boston Water and Sewer Commission update, will take place May 21 at 6:30p.m. at the Fenway Community Center, located at 1282 Boylston Street. Join Representative Chynah Tyler and the BWSC to hear updates from the West Fenway sewer project.
  • Calling all musicians for Fenway Porchfest! Apply now for the music festival on Saturday June 16 from 12-4p.m. For more info, visit: fenwayporchfest.org/signup.
  • Fenway Fair Foods will take place every other Wednesday, May 16th and 30th from 3 -5p.m. at Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, 165 Park Drive. Fenway Fair Foods distributes up to 12 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables for $2 per bag to everyone, regardless of income level.
  • It’s a Spring Thing! Everyone is invited to volunteer with Fenway Victory Gardens at the May Community Participation Day on Saturday, May 19 from 9a.m. to noon. The Fenway Garden Society provides snacks and coffee.

RED SOX GAMES

Congestion, congestion, congestion is coming to the Fenway. The Red Sox will facing the Baltimore Orioles for a four-day showdown from Thursday May 17 through Sunday May 20. The first three days will begin at 7p.m. and Sunday will have a 1p.m. start.

The Red Sox will have a break on Monday and than travel for a three-day stint with the Tampa Bay Rays through Thursday May 24.

MASSPORT AIRPLANE NOISE COMPLAINT LINE

Residents who are being disturbed by airplane noise are encouraged to call the MassPort Noise Hotline 24 hours a day. The phone number is (617) 561-3333.

SHORT-TERM RENTALS FILDED

Mayor Martin Walsh filed an amended proposal for an Ordinance Allowing Short-Term Residential Rentals in the City of Boston at the Boston City Council hearing on Wednesday, May 16.

In the Mayor’s letter to the Council, he noted that Bostonians want to be able to access the economic opportunities that short term rentals can provide, but also recognize the importance of establishing reasonable regulations that limit certain short term rental uses in a way that protects long term housing from being converted to commercial short term rental use.

The revised proposal eliminates investor units from the ordinance and restricts short-term rentals as defined as fewer than 28-night stays, to owner-occupied properties. An exception is made to owner-occupants of two and three family homes that can list additional owner-adjacent units for up to 120 days per year.

The previous proposed exemptions for medical stays is still included, as well as an exemption for corporate or institutional furnished stays of 10 or more consecutive nights.

Property owners that want to use residential units for short term rentals outside the bounds of this ordinance will still have the option of applying for and securing a change of use and occupancy for those units.

The legislation was filed but not heard on the agenda the previous week because Councilor Frank Baker objected.

The Open Meeting Law requires 48 hours notice, legislative dockets must be filed with the Clerk’s office by Monday morning in order to appear on the Wednesday agenda.

The matter was assigned tot he Government Operations Committee for a hearing, with a tentative time of Monday, May 21st at 9a.m.

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